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Not sure if this is right place to ask as it is not directly related to programming in Raspberry Pi but anyway.. I want to setup automated garden for my allotment. There is no electricity, no internet, middle of nowhere:


Tools: solar panels, battery, raspberry Pi zero + WittyPi


Plan: start raspberry pi every 1h, check temp, humidity, light, take a photo, connect to internet and upload to website, shut itself down.


Everything is fine, except my only idea for access point is an old mobile phone (smartphone Samsung s7) setup as a Hotspot. It's not ideal as it does require lot of juice to power this up which means I would most likely have to add few more solar panels. I live in Scotland, sun here is like a gold :) Just wanted to pickup your brains to check if any of you will have better idea how to deliver internet without using hell lot of energy.

Thanks for any replies.

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I think the biggest issue with the mobile phone approach is the phone will always be on and draining power. This would be the case if you were using a dedicated hot spot device too. A big chunk of your power budget is powering the cellular data connectivity whilst your Rpi is asleep. You might address this by scheduling the powering up of both the phone and Rpi (if the phone can be modified to support this).

Alternatively, you could also look at a cellular HAT (add on board) which could be powered up only for the time you need the Rpi online e.g. a few minutes each hour (to setup the cellular connection and capture and transmit the payload data to your website).

Either way this could be run off a battery setup (probably Lipo) with enough capacity to run the various devices day and night and sufficient charging during the day to top up.

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About 1/2 years ago I tried to use an Android Phone network via usb-tethering. My conclusion was that, unless you are rooting the phone, it is not a good idea. Indeed, if you unplug/plug the usb cable to the phone or reboot the phone the tethering will go down and does not restart without manual intervention.

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To upload the data to your web site I would use a 3/4G modem USB dongle direct connected to the RasPi instead of using a mobile phone with WiFi connection. This way you can shutdown and powerup it together with the RasPi and control it direct with the RasPi. And it is less power consuming. B.t.w. a Raspberry Pi Zero you are talking about does not have WiFi.

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